Entertainment from USA’s 1st gold medal winner: For What it’s Worth

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U.S. Olympian Virginia Thrasher visits the USA House at Colegio Sao Paulo on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

I get the biggest chuckle out of people you’ve never met, but know who you are because of being on television–who then claim that they don’t watch TV. It happens more than you would imagine. Do people really think we’re all that impressed with ourselves?

Rio Bravo

At least it was a strong wind and not a foul one that blew through Rio on day two of its Olympics. The winds are wreaking havoc with many of the outdoor facilities, but if that’s the worst thing that happens at an event that had so many dire predictions—organizers will gladly take it.

The Olympics have long since departed from their amateur ideals, but stories of triumph, perseverance and sacrifice always seem to be inspirational.

Virginia Thrasher, an undergrad at West Virginia, won the first gold of the games for the U.S. in the 10 meter Air Rifle. No, I don’t care about the Air Rifle, but I do care about the passion, time and effort it takes to pursue a dream, let alone realize it. That Thrasher was one of the most appreciative, gracious, delightful and funny medal winners I’ve ever seen interviewed restored some of my faith in the Olympic movement.

Then again

Having said that, there are a few events in the Summer Games I just don’t get.

Diving? Sure. Synchronized diving? Why? Granted, this from a guy who has trouble doing a belly flop.

Rhythmic gymnastics? Are these gymnasts that can’t cut it on the beam, but give them a little ribbon or some balls to toss to themselves and it’s athletic art? Man that sounds grumpy, but it really seems contrived to me.

Trampoline? You mean to tell me that we haven’t been able to get baseball at the games, or, until recently, golf. But they award medals for jumping on a trampoline?

Rock pile

The Rockies went 3-3 in six home games in the last week against teams they’re chasing for a National League Wild Card.

Frankly, I saw it as an opportunity lost, especially after giving away one to the Marlins on Friday. Being four games back, with two teams ahead of them for that final wild card, gives Colorado a very narrow margin for error, especially with 10 of their next 13 games coming against the Rangers, Nationals and Cubs.

Is it just me, or does Walt Weiss have a slow trigger with reliever Carlos Estevez, who imploded in last Friday’s loss to the Marlins. Granted, at 23, he’s a young talent who needs to be brought along and he hadn’t given up a hit, let alone a run, in his last four appearances. But he’s blown four saves, so he has a bit of history and clearly didn’t have his best stuff, or even his good stuff, in blowing that 2-run lead in the ninth last Friday.

Sports is replete with clichés.  When a player goes down, we flippantly call for the ‘next man up,’ but there’s a reason one guy’s ahead of the next. You don’t replace 27 homers from Trevor Story with Daniel Descalso or Christian Adames. Those two combined and cubed couldn’t make up for the loss of Story.

Bronc busters

When the Broncos break their first huddle Thursday in Chicago, I still think that Mark Sanchez will take the first snaps. But the veteran hasn’t done much to distance himself from Trevor Siemian. The one way any quarterback in camp can improve on last year is cutting down on the 31 turnovers the Broncos committed, so when Sanchez throws two pick sixes over three practices last week it can’t be fostering a lot of confidence.

Even more than quarterback, the position(s) I’m following closest is the offensive line. Already, they’re fighting some injuries and with four new starters this year continuity was going to be an issue anyway. But when you’re trying to run the ball as much as Gary Kubiak would like you better be pretty salty up front.

A couple of other positions seem to have developed some front-runners—Virgil Green practiced very well at tight end last week and Bennie Fowler continues to make plays in a bid for the third receiver slot. On defense, corner backs Lorenzo Doss, Taurean Nixon and Kayvon Webster have all benefited from the absence of Aqib Talib.

Hall of Shame

Really NFL … you didn’t know what you were getting into for field paint at Canton for the Hall of Fame game? Don’t the folks at Tom Benson Stadium have just one job to do? So they mix up a little paint and it becomes as hard as concrete, forcing cancellation of the game between the Packers and Colts. Ridiculous and embarrassing.